Your primary-school child knows exactly what “no” means, and most of the time she’s obliging. However, once in a while she will ignore you or retort with an annoying: “Why not?” or even an infuriating “Make me!”There are lots of alternatives to the word “no” and it makes sense to use them. Children will begin to tune out the word and you may find that it takes 10 no’s to get your child to respond. It’s better to try a more effective approach than the dreaded “No” word!
What do you do?
Rephrase and explain:
Try to put a positive spin on what you have requested from our child. Rather than barking: “No! Don’t play that ball inside”. Instead, say: “Please, go outside to play with the ball.”
Now that your child is in primary school, she will be desperate to gain independence and self control. She will respond better to a choice rather than an order. If your child wants to put off her homework until after dinner, tell her she can if she has her bath before dinner. Offer children alternatives rather than just a yes or no option.
Capitalise on your relationship:
For the most part, your grade-schooler aims to please, and she will love sharing secrets with you. Why not tell her that you will tap your nose every time you need her to behave. She will love being part of a secret code.
Avoid the issue:
At this age, fewer situations drive your child to misbehave, but it still pays to avoid the ones that do. Avoid situations where you think she is likely to misbehave, if she always behaves badly when a certain friend is over then invite a different friend over.
Ignore minor infractions:
Life presents plenty of meaningful opportunities to teach your child discipline, so don’t invent unnecessary lessons. If she wants to wear only red clothes for four days in a row-just leave her be! Choose your battles, if she’s safe and you don’t have to say no, then let it slide.
Say it like you mean it:
Of course, when her behaviour does matter, be firm. Say it calmly but firmly. When she responds, give her a big smile or a hug and say “Thank you”.